Dew: I have demanding clients who call and want answers immediately. How do I get them to be patient while I fetch their file and find the answer? -Molly
Molly, I hear my client’s stories of pushy customers like this all the time, but this solution is often an easy one:
Put them on hold.
I don’t want come across as a smart aleck, but it really is that easy. If you try to multitask and search for the answers while your customer is on the phone, they’re going to hear outside conversations, you shuffling papers or clicking around on your keyboard, and the stress in your voice, too. The longer this goes on, the more stressed you are going to get, and the more frustrated they are going to get. And if you try and make small talk while you are looking up answers, you are probably just going to sound rattled and unreliable anyway.
Rather, ask them politely if you can put them on hold for just a minute while you retrieve their file. Remember to practice your confidence in your team knowing they took care of the issue and/or have a resolution for you.
Here’s my Sales Power Tip:
Practice becoming a quality problem solver. I would say 9 times out of 10, our customers are calling us in a panic when we had an idea that an issue may arise in the first place. When I am working on quality problem solving with my coaching clients, I teach them to “Anticipate the Next 3”. That simply means that you should be ready for their next 3 questions. For example, the next 3 questions may likely be:
- How did this happen?
- How will it get resolved?
- What can you do to prevent this in the future?
Depending on your business and the scenario, the next 3 questions may be different, but practice trying to predict the next 3 questions and preparing yourself to answer them.
And finally—don’t ignore a call from a demanding client when you know there was an issue. Answer your phone and deal with it immediately. Nothing is more irritating than feeling ignored.
Until next time—go sell some stuff!